Book Review: Realm of Chaos - Warhammer Anthology


Title - Realm of Chaos
Author - Anthology (8 Writers)
Year - 2000
Stand Alone or Series - Anthology Fantasy (12 Stories)
Pages - 280 (Mass Paperback)
Reading Time - May 2011

Introduction
This was the first warhammer fantasy anthology that Black Library edited. Apart from Gav Thorpe, Jonathan Green, no other wrote any full lenght book. Jonathan Green is also gone from Black Library even if it has a short story in one of the latest 40k anthology featuring Black Templars.

Contents

Birth of Legend - Gav Thorpe
The Hounds of Winter - Jonathan Green (Review in The Dead and the Damned)
Hatred - Ben Chessell
Grunsonn's Marauders - Andy Jones
The Doorway Between - Rjurik Davidson
Mormacar's Lament - Chris Pramas
The Blessed Ones - Rani Kellock
Dark Heart - Jonathan Green (Review in The Dead and the Damned)
The Chaos Beneath - Mark Brendan
Paradise Lost - Andy Jones
Wolf in the Fold - Ben Chessell
The Faithful Servant - Gav Thorpe

Review
"Birth of a Legend" by Gav Thorpe is an good "first contact" kind of tale between Dwarves and Humans. 
A tale of how dwarves met the mighty Siggmar, only fifteen years old, and how he came to have his holy hammer Ghal Maraz or Skull Splitter given by King Kurgan. It's probably one of the best stories in this anthology. Several years later Graham McNeil wrote a trilogy depicting Sigmar that I have yet to read. 8/10

The Hounds of Winter - Jonathan Green  (Review in The Dead and the Damned) brings together spirits of legend on a spooky night at a remote inn. (Check the link above) 7/10

"Hatred" by Ben Chessel is about a sinister witch-hunter.It was nothing spectacular to it and I didn't enjoy. Okay so he turned. Now what? I really couldn't find this story midly interesting. 4/10
In "Grunsonn's Marauders" by Andy Jones, introduces us to his band of mercenary adventurers consisting of a Dwarf, an Elf, a Barbarian (Norcsa) and a normal human. Really?? And Elf and a Dwarf together? Right. They even care about each other... oh please... I thought this was going to be a Forgotten Realms story. Really. But it was not. It was not good. Somewhat funny but besides that nothing good. The plot is simple. They are task with retrieving a finger (yes a finger) from a place guarded by some powerful guardians. A twist in the end but nothing interesting. 4/10

The Doorway Between - Rjurik Davidson is tale was a good story. A witch hunter is tasked with something and another witch hunter appears to help him. It's a nice story but witch hunter are not mercenary... The battle with the champion of chaos was anti-climax. The end was good. Nothing spectacular. 5/10

Mormacar's Lament - Chris Pramas it was a nice tale. A high elf is capture by his dark brether Druchii and is improssioned in Hag Graef. There he plots to escape with a strange ally. A Norcsa raider. In the beginning they don't get along but after some trials the elf mourns for the norcsa as he sacrifice so the high elf can report to their kin that the dark elves are massing for attack. It's a nice tale but something was odd. How could the Norcsa see in the caves for several days? Very Strange. The end of the tale is very good. After dozen trials and battles he is killed by his own kin because he was dressed as a dark elf. Very nice! 7.5/10

The Blessed Ones - Rani Kellock brings us a tale about a robber who robs a painting for a unknown lord with strange malefic proprieties. Interesting tale. It gives "life" to it. 6/10

Dark Heart - Jonathan Green (Review in The Dead and the Damned)

The Chaos Beneath - Mark Brendan this tale deals with a witch hunter in the sewers of Marienburg and   the rituals of the chaos cultists. It's a good tale. 6/10

Paradise Lost - Andy Jones another tale that follows Grunsonn's Marauders. In these tale they are stranded on a island which have some lizardman folk that look at them as gods. They are not the clever lizardman from lustria but stranded as the Marauders. It's better tale that the previous but nothing that would be considered today. 6.5/10

Wolf in the Fold - Ben Chessell brings us some cool story about a deadly assassin feared in the Olde Worlde. As he lay dying he begs for rependence. He tells a tale of werewolves and strange love. Very good tale. 7.5/10

The Faithful Servant - Gav Thorpe probably the best story on this book. A Sigmar warrior priest is the last standing man on a battlefield. His majestic horse died on him and he is laying there waiting for rescue. But the rescue is a dark champion of Tzeentch that makes him a question about his faith. There we find more about both particpants as the champion tries to convert the priest saying that either he converts or he will kill every habitant from Kislev to Aldorft. The priest thinks that maybe he fool the champion saying that he say he is to be convert but in his heart still praise Sigmar. A bunch of hounds of Khorne are descending and the champion says to him that if he grabs something from a dark god maybe they would spare you and he lets his unholy black sword on the ground. It ends with us thinking that he grabed it but never confirmed it. I think what is more important to die praising a god or to live praising the opposite? 10/10

Conclusion
A solid anthology with good books. Nice addition to the warhammer world. But maybe buy the anthology Tales of the Old World that has much of this stories in it. 7.5/10
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